Contemporary                                         Culture

 

Anyone for an ANYONEBOOKS book?

Yasmine Ganley, the founder and editor of anyonegirl.com, pivots to book publishing.

INTERVIEW INDEX PHOTOGRAPHY Yasmine Ganley

anyone books

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Yasmine Ganley and son.

Tell us about the journey from anyonegirl.com to WAIST journal to your new publishing company, anyonebooks.

I started anyonegirl.com over 10 years ago. As well as acting like a portfolio for my freelance work, it was more a space to muse. I then opened the platform up to share other freelance projects outside of my circle, and now it really serves as a space for emerging artists to contribute and collaborate.

WAIST was born out of the desire to give some of the content contributed to anyonegirl.com a more definitive space to exist, but perhaps the bigger motivation was to create a print publication that celebrated women, not to condemn or patronise or fool them, which I felt most women’s magazines were/are still doing.

I wanted to created a voice that was gentle but honest in the way it explored our more tender of attributes, all of which seemed to exist somewhere around the navel area (hence the name): sex, pregnancy, motherhood, anxiety, intuition, gut feelings. We are in our fifth year, and I’ve said this issue would be my last but I might take my words back.

Why do you think people are still enamoured by books in this age?

Perhaps more so now than ever? I think because they’re intentional and thought through. And, like film or music, they pull us away from ourselves, yet somehow by doing so, they teach us something about ourselves. I think, more and more, we crave this experience of being seen as completely human through stories or narratives that are not our own.  

Anyonegirl.com and you are based in New Zealand but the content is global. What kind of local/international mix can we expect with the content and artists represented by anyonebooks?

The same — a mixture of local and international artists, people who we resonate with is the most important factor over location. 

Why do you think independent magazines and book publishers are having more success of late than the traditional big publishing houses?

I didn’t know this was a fact, but felt it. I am not sure, but I assume it is because the independents are authentic. Niche will always have its place and following and, with everything and everyone being so exposed and over-shared, it is really a pleasure to find and explore a unique voice. 

Your first title is Men Carrying Flowers by Ophelia Mikkelson Jones. How did this project come about and why did you choose this as your debut release?

Yes, although we have self-published five issues of WAIST prior to making this book. Ophelia and I spoke about her idea sitting on the beach together almost three summers ago, so it has been brewing for a while. I was talking about how I wanted to make books for other people and she was telling me about her idea for a book — how she had been compiling these images of men carrying flowers that she would see along the streets and on public transport. Eventually we decided to hit go and put all the content in front of Natasha, who has designed the book.

Natasha’s design has managed to fuse 80s romantic-comedy with diary-entry-from-the-40s, and I’m not sure how she did that, but it is beautiful. I love how Ophelia’s work is drenched in romanticism and tenderness but the way she delivers it is futuristic somehow, or maybe urban is a better word, like it has a fresh lens, giving it some tension, and I think that is what makes it so special.

Ophelia had noticed her long-time-girl-crush writer Durga Chew-Bose post a similar picture of a man (maybe her husband) carrying flowers on Instagram, and she thought, Oh she sees it too. So, after bouncing the idea with us, she emailed Durga and asked if she would like to contribute a written piece. Which she has, and it is a piece of text my mind can never let go of. 

What can we expect in 2021 from anyonebooks and other projects on the horizon?

Firstly, we are working on a project with multi-award-winning Australian photographer Ilsa Wynne-Hoelscher Kidd on a series of her work that spans a few years of her experience as a mother and a professional photographer.

Being a freelance creative and a mother has its perks and downfalls, and lots of mothers can unite on this feeling of juggling the two, yes, but also the waves of inspiration children can bring into our worlds, how we navigate this landscape and how we both end up informing each other. I feel like it is a common conversation I am having with my mummy friends, but it is interesting to see it in the form of imagery. The series is called Slipping, which is a perfect word to sum up this notion. 

And secondly, we are working on a literary mailer that is wrapped around the idea of apophenia, which is the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things. This project is a collaboration between a small group of people living all over the world. I am really excited about this. 

This year has been interesting, to say the least. Have the issues of 2020 changed your approach as a publisher and editor in any way?

This year has slowed me and my processes down. I’ve enjoyed working things through on a much deeper level, and not feeling a sense of urgency that I usually do. 

anyone books

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waist journal.

anyone books
anyone books

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A waist journal installation at Baserange, Melbourne.

anyone books

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A literary mailer in the works, based on the idea of apophenia.

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